tv [untitled] CSPAN April 6, 2010 2:00am-2:30am EDT
provocative exercises last year and next to the polish and baltic borders. and nato did not respond. and even to position some infrastructure on their territories. this is why it this month the deployment of a battery of patriot missiles with a small american contingent in northern poland is considered extremely important, because if it is quiet -- tied to a closer defense of these countries. they also want clutter clarity as to how nature -- meadow country -- they want greater clarity as to how article 5 is interpreted. let me stop there and if you have any questions i would be happy that answer. >> we will open it up to questions now. julia. . >> i was wondering if you could
elaborate. you talked about the political capital the president has and the capital he has with european leaders because of the treaty and how that will play out with other issues this year. >> that is a great question. it is hard to quantify. i think that 56 says the administration has experience in the last month, international leaders in europe and elsewhere leaders in europe and elsewhere ha the administration as one which is, there was a tendency given the difficulty of the first year to sort of say they are weak and discount them and we may not be
dealing with this guy in 2012 and beyond. 5 think that the ovulation looks different now than just one month ago. howled that is going to play out -- how that is going to play out and behind th closer to a meeting of the mine's not only with the russians but to some extent with the chinese. china decided to come to the nuclear summit. if the could offset tight a correlation between the victory in health care and that but the fact that he is coming here bolsters that image that this is
a president that is looking more successful. how successful they are going to be with the sanctions on iran, i did not think anybody in the obama administration is under the illusion that would avert sanctions are leveled on the iranians are going to solve the problems. we're going to have to wait and see. >> could you follow up just a bit? what are we likely to see? will there be developments in the coming week on sanctions in iran and how would that become evident? >> in a lot of ways, we are in the same place we have always been on sanctions with iran. over the past few years, we have
tried to target sanctions so that they did not effect the iranian people as a whole all the while knowing that the kinds of things which would relate get their attention are the kinds of things that hurt -- restrictions on refined petroleum products into iran. they heard the iranian people and iran's trading partners. it is easy for the u.s. to talk about sanctions. we cannot have a big trading relationship with them. it is a lot harder with russia and china, particularly china. the effort right now, since iran has really refused to comply with u.n. security council resolutions, and even the olive branch offerings in the fall to get back to the negotiating table, we are engaged in an effort to get another round of
resolutions. the issue is will china at best support or a not so bad outcome would be if they abstained and how much will russia support a new round of sanctions? there are a lot of things that could be done outside the u.n. security council and a lot of those measures that deal with transactions at banks have been helpful but if they show no sign of either returning to the negotiation table or halting their enrichment program. i think we are in a slightly better position. the chinese have shown a bit more flexibility. until now, they have taken a principled stand against sanctions but we will have to see.
this security summit next week offers an opportunity to talk on the margins which is what happens at major summits. the hope is there as well as this meeting in prague that we can bring first to russia and then china along. >> i do not think we are going to see sanctions on the energy sector. i am skeptical that we seek sanctions on arms exports to iran from both the russian and chinese. it looks like there is a decent likelihood of more restrictions on the banking sector in trying to restrict the access of some of the political leadership has to capital. one of the positive things that i took note of was the report that the russians and chinese made a statement to the iranians
about their failures to be more forthcoming with their nuclear weapons program. that was a bit lost because it was the same week it was announced that the start treaty was agreed to and a debriefing of the national security council pointed to that is quite a positive sign. they were not able to say whether it was a russian initiative to the chinese but nobody was quite sure about that. that raises the interesting aspect between the russian- chinese relationship and to what extent they are together and to what extent are we picking them off somewhat. it is clear on iran that the russians are closer to us then the chinese are.
>> if i could just answer briefly in terms of russian policy toward iran, it is very ambiguous. on the one hand, they did not want them to develop nuclear capability. on the other hand, they do not want the americans to sanction. that means less russian influence in the region. it suits them to have a little bit of a problem with iran. not one that gets out of hand and is set into a strike against nuclear facilities or for them to develop a nuclear device that could be -- that could be deployable. we see the same situation in afghanistan. they want to help us but they do not want us to win, either. it is tying down american resources and restricting american influence and using themselves as a potential mediator. that is part of the strategy.
>> thank you. >> we are looking at the release of the ncr tomorrow. i want to ask how that fits in with this. india and pakistan will both be participating in the summer at. a and -- participating in the summit. i wonder how the recent comments and afghanistan will factor into the meetings and prague and the discussions in terms of what to expect. >> i will start on the npr.
the long awaited nuclear posture review. what this has done in the past is set out the role of nuclear weapons in u.s. national security strategy. it is no coincidence that the bush administration's nuclear posture review basically said that we have 2000 warheads and that is what you saw in the treaty. the nuclear posture review this time around will talk about whether the primary uses of nuclear weapons, what are the levels we can live with, i do not think there is going to be a whole lot that is going to be very surprising but it should support what the obama administration is doing with the start treaty and follow-on negotiations there. on india and pakistan, pakistan
is probably even though the nuclear security summit is not designed and hopes to avoid pointing fingers at any single country but obviously, the issue of nuclear security is a big one in pakistan. both the security of nuclear material and the security of nuclear weapons. i do not thinks that we will see too much progress between india and pakistan at this summit but i think it is a good thing that both are it least attending. -- at least attending. >> one comment about the administration's going to 0 agenda which is what the secretary of defense said not anything that will happen soon. one of the fundamental problems about that agenda is that it and
list the support of other countries with it beginning with the russians and then the chinese and so on down the line. nobody else in the world that is officially recognized is particularly enthusiastic about it because the u.s. enjoys -- here is the rub for the russians. they are concerned that the combination of their eroding of conventional weapons and the deteriorating numbers on the offensive forces and the u.s. conventional weapons development which are weapons close to nuclear capability and the development of nuclear defenses, all of that from the russian standpoint, they see this as potentially making the
world safe for american military intervention when ever we want. that is a court tension and challenge -- that is a core tension and challenge for the agenda. we are spending 55% of the world expenditures on global arms and telling the rest of the world that we should be moving for aggressively toward no nuclear weapons. that is a tough nut to crack. it will become more telling as we get beyond the replacement treaty. on the comments of president karzai, wow. some of our friends -- with friends like that, who needs enemies? this is the crux of the problem
in afghanistan. if it is true that he is going to be at the nuclear summit in washington next week -- sorry? [inaudible] >> that was in reference to the separate meeting. which is still on asset today. that is what robert gibbs said today. one of the core problems we face in afghanistan is the competitive instincts of pakistan and india so i would have to think that both of the leaders here next week is a point of discussion. with the upcoming planned offensive, the ambassador was recently here and his comment was this is one part military was this is one part military and five parts political
-- the one part, military, the afghans would except as political? that is a big question. >> welcome to the bipartisan center for international studies. >> i am from the christian science monitor. i would like to go back to the reset with russia subjects. could you talk a little bit about whether you see any relationship developing between obama and president of the dove -- but that if -- medvedev. where do you see the politics going? >> well, i do not think there
is any question that president obama finds it easier or more pleasant to interact with him that he does with mr. blogger proven -- mr. vladimir putin. point. on foreign policy and security issues, my view has been that there really isn't any space between them on foreign policy and security issues that they see that is significant. what is significant, and i have observed this myself from simply being with the two of them separately, they really do have different outlooks on the development of russia. they talk about it very differently. the fact that the russian
premier is a lot younger and he has experience in the private sector, he does what we have -- what we would call a more liberal outlook on things than does mr. putin. it is impossible to miss that. what happens in russia is impossible to predict. i would be very wary about making any bets against vladimir proveutin and i would be wary at being viewed overtly as supporting the russian prime minister publicly at the expense of mr. putin. we could have more potential to endanger him than we have to actually help. we did not have a particularly good track record in trying to intervene in other country's
domestic politics, particularly in russia where sovereignty is so sensitive, that has to be handled with the utmost care. >> i was wondering if you could talk about the role of congress particularly on the start treaty ratification and how much they could be an obstacle for what the white house can do. >> that is a great question. congress can obviously be a big obstacle when it comes to nuclear arms control and that is because on the start treaty, the senate has to have comprehensive consensus on the treaty which this administration supports. but they can also be an obstacle of there.
we have seen some things from the hill from particular senators expressing their views on certain issues related to this on missile defenses and several of those things but i think the obama administration has tried to head them off at the past. a lot of money for the nuclear weapons complex which many thought would be kind of a prerequisite for senate approval and some of these nuclear arms control areas but we will see what happens with the debate on start. i do not think there are too many -- this new treaty, on the face of it, incremental, there
is nothing in there on missile defense. it does not same ring from a rational, a technical perspective that there are too many leaps. politics is politics. there can be any number of different organs that can be asked for. i particularly was hoping that obama would be able to do a series of unilateral moves that would not depend so much on congressional approval and we will see in the coming days, particularly in the next two weeks, i think we will see more views emerging from congress not just on start but on the nuclear posture review. >> do you anticipate when the
president meets with the russian president that that will be a meeting to get the russians to sign off on sanctions? should we look at the chinese meeting as well as potentially face-to-face sign-off on sanctions with iran? we on that kind of timetable? should we consider that one of the central items of that agenda? secondly, what ever happens to the security council, the you think it would be likely and it possible to do it other component of sanctions? would europe be open to that question of should we anticipate that after what everett the security council does or does not come up with? lastly, almost every tree of this nature has been a conversation of the numbers. we have not talked numbers at all. are they not impressive or is it about something else?
that is a lot so i will stop there. >> on the iran question, i am operating under the assumption that the meeting in prague is very important to us to get sign-off and the following week there will be a meeting with the chinese. that may be overly ambitious but that looks to be the case of sequencing from my standpoint. the russians are closer to us on this. the hope has always been that you get the russians which will help bring the chinese along. i have always been intrigued by the idea of let's see because the chinese traditionally have been quite happy to hide behind russian opposition to sanctions
and russian vocal opposition on a lot of issues that the chinese are not particularly enthusiastic about it. on the iran sanctions, it will be interesting with the obama administration, they have been pretty explicit in talking about this as on the reset of getting the russians to come on board as the litmus test. if you ask them whether arantxa test is with the u.s.-china relationship, it is not. that reflects a much greater leverage that the chinese have with the bilateral relationship with the u.s. than the russians in particular. that is an interesting and telling change of affairs from even just a few years ago with the russian support was viewed as you get that and you have the
chinese. i think that is a paradigm. if it ever existed, i think it is broken. the chinese have shown themselves on a number of issues are for the past year to be willing to be more in front in opposition to the u.s. interests. the question on the nuclear treaty, the numbers. the you want to talk about the numbers? >> sure. i think that there is less of an obsession with the numbers because of the reason that andy gave earlier which is the u.s. does not fear russia as the major strategic competitor. maybe andy can talk about the discussion and russia over numbers.
the numbers are not so low compared to what they were previously and it depends on what you are comparing it to. are you comparing it to the original and how you are counting. is it the original agreement for the moscow treaty? the white house has said this is 30% lower but in the end, do you really care? when the warheads start to get, we are at 1550, when they start to get to the thousand level or below, then you are really the way to start to care about numbers because then you are talking about do we continue to have a strategic triad? do we continue to have bombers? who else did you bring into the negotiations? it becomes multilateral negotiations.
the previous in administration was always focused on the bilateral u.s.-soviet relation. the big question will be at what point can you bring in those other players? >> to follow up, i think that the administration feels that the treaty giving them is important. with the expiration of the start treaty, you lose the verification of the monitoring regime that went along with that. for the obama people to be able to replace the treaty and maintain a significant degree of that the verification is probably the most important achievement from the standpoint of u.s. national security with the treaty. for the russians, the numbers
are -- talking over the last decade or so in nuclear circles with the russians, they can talk about getting down to 1000 weapons. that used to be a relatively reasonable proposition. it is interesting how over this negotiation, that seems to be getting to where we are with this treaty was harder than some expected and i think getting to that? that is the one to be harder if we are unwilling to address the strategic relationship and talk about the role of miss self- defense -- of missile defense. also, the role of long-range precision guided conventional munitions.
that is what is in the concern about the russian military's strategic planners about where this is going. [inaudible] >> i think we are going to -- if there is no discernible progress on u.n. security council resolutions, we will of course consider other options and the question is which of the european allies will be most helpful there? the french are espousing their help but it will probably be the germans who are more helpful in the end.
we continue on the same path we have been going down which is to look at this at every single level, not just the top level. >> did you want to add to that? >> going back to the reset, can you elaborate on what the recent suicide bombing means to that effort? >> for me, the suicide bombings , especially the ones that took place in moscow on the metro, is a reminder that russia is probably, if you look at the u.s., europe, and russia, prussia is probably the most vulnerable